1. How long have you worked at Western Montana Lighting? What’s your job or title today? Have you always had this role at WML?
I started in April 2016 at WML. Initially I was hired to be a part-time bookkeeper and office assistant. By January, I had moved to full-time hours and started adding to my responsibilities. I now produce all the purchase orders and manage the inventory in addition to all the bookkeeping work. I have taught the staff how to use are new Point of Sale system and updated multiple processes to make everything work more efficiently to better serve our customers.

2. How long have you lived in Missoula? What, in your opinion, is the best thing about living in Montana?
I have lived in Missoula since I was six years old. Most of family grew up in Richey, Montana. Since I grew up in Missoula, I consider it my Hope Bowler with her familyhometown. I love the mountains and being surrounded my nature and wildlife. You don’t have to travel very far to see so many wonderful things. My husband Patrick and my three children, Jasmine, Jordan and Jenna, love to go to Glacier and Yellowstone every year. Betty teases me by asking me what I did for the weekend and then says, “Let me guess, you went to Glacier?”

I love Montana so much, that every time I have moved away, I have moved back within a year. Of course, I can’t stay away from Missoula for very long either. I absolutely love this town, the people and the scenery are so wonderful.

3. What certifications have you earned or expertise have you gained over the years?
In high school, I was yearbook editor my junior and senior year. I enjoyed teaching and helping my fellow classmates learn the design programs. I really enjoyed design programs, so after high school, I went to school for graphic design and I worked as a graphic designer for years.

Then my husband I started our own trucking company. I ran the company from home and he was on the road driving. Eventually the market hit us and we had to close our doors. I decided to go back to school and started at the Missoula College and after earning my Associates Degree, I decided I really enjoyed communication classes. I then started at the University of Montana and I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in Non-Profit administration. I worked for several years at the Ronald McDonald House and truly enjoyed my work.

After a while, though, I needed something more. I saw the part-time job at WML for a bookkeeper and thought that would be great part-time work. I enjoyed working both jobs for about a year before going full time at WML.

4. What’s your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy working with my co-workers. They are always willing to help and open to me about how they feel about new processes. I love to help people, so it works out great that I get to teach the staff new processes that I have created or things they didn’t know about the system. The staff and I have a great balance, they are excellent with the lighting knowledge and I am great with the logistics of the process. Together, we make a great team.

5. Tell us a memorable story about working at Western Montana Lighting.
One day I looked up and saw an older woman come in the store, with her daughter and they start looking around. Then a minute later another woman comes in looking exactly the same. Wearing the same clothes and everything. I thought I was seeing double. Turns out, I wasn’t. They were identical twin sisters.

6. Please share your top lighting tip or secret.
Since I do not generally help the customers with their lights, I don’t really have any lighting tips or secrets, but I do like to show off a light that is right outside my office. It is a motion sensor pendant. You wave your hand under it and it turns off or on. It also dims by holding your hand under the sensor. The staff makes fun of me because I can’t quite reach it work flat-footed. I must get on my tippy toes. Whenever I see someone look at it, I jump up and show them. I now have a light bulb with the same technology in my own home that our store has access to, as well.

Give me an excuse to get out of the office and socialize with the customers. Come in to the shop and I will show you!